The seed for GT Advanced Aerial Services was sown over 15 years ago when I bought my first Canon DSLR camera in high school – and a lifelong passion for photography was born. The simple act of going out and taking pictures became a source of enduring joy right to this day. Through years of practicing and studying my craft I have honed my eye for beautifully structured photographs.
A passion for flying remote-controlled aircraft began alongside. Before drones, people had two choices for Remote Controlled Flight: RC Airplanes & RC Helicopters. I chose to go with RC Helicopters, as their freedom of flight and control were unmatched by RC Airplanes at that time. Through years of dedicated pursuit and trial & error (with multiple crashes, repairs, and complete rebuilds) I gained a thorough knowledge of flight mechanics and technology.
I didn’t realize I was ahead of the curve, as I’d begun experimenting with combining my two favorite passions, photography and flight. I experimented with attaching various camera systems to my large RC Helicopters – but soon found this was no easy task. Image and video footage quality was mixed at best as the micro-vibrations from the RC Helicopter were passed through to the camera, causing blurry images and shaky video.
You can understand my excitement when the first consumer Drones began to hit the market. But these early models presented similar issues to those I was facing with camera-equipped RC Helicopters, low quality and shaky footage. Then in the fall of 2016 DJI released the Mavic Pro Drone, a GPS-equipped quad-copter with an advanced gimbal/camera system, allowing for the capture of smooth, crisp 4K footage, at a price point which everyday hobbyist could afford. It was a game-changer. It was on this system I mastered advanced mechanics of drone flight and quality image capture. Hundreds of hours were spent flying and learning everything I could find regarding Drone tech and Aerial photography.
By the end of the first year with the Mavic Pro I realized that in order to deliver better on my advanced projects required a more advanced drone and equipment. This realization resulted in the procurement of the advanced cinematic drone platform, the DJI Inspire 2. Between the Mavic Pro and Inspire 2 systems I could deliver to the needs of multiple markets (marketing footage capture, multi-industry inspection capabilities like survey/mapping, and artistic media capture).
To stay on the forefront of the rapidly-evolving drone industry, attending industry-leading drone conferences and training seminars is a must. Through my exposure to these conferences, seminars, networking, and advanced study I made the strategic decision to focus on providing cutting-edge Thermographic Inspection Capabilities.
This meant the most significant investment into the business to date for my partners and myself. I traveled the country to complete the various levels of Thermography Certification Courses offered through Infrared Training Center (Subsidiary of Flir). I succeeded in certifying as a Level III Master Thermographer, giving us a decisive competitive advantage over the majority of drone pilots offering thermographic services.
Trained in the capture, interpretation, and delivery of quality thermal data and reports. we were ready to invest in an industry-leading Thermal Inspection Platform. Exhaustive research and comparison led to our selection of the DJI M210 RTK platform. Featuring a dual Camera/Gimbal System utilizing the latest Flir XT2 Infrared Camera and Zenmuse Z30 Optical Inspection Camera, we are exceptionally well-equipped to deliver more accurate, reliable and efficient advanced Aerial Inspection Services than ever.
While we focus on comprehensive Solar Inspection services, our knowledge and experience means we serve numerous industries and applications across the board, from cinematic aerial marketing support and survey/mapping technologies to advanced industrial inspections (Power, Oil & Gas, and O&M). Our clients include globally-admired brands like Audi/Mercedes Benz and leading energy majors like Total’s Solar Distributed Generation.
At GT Advanced Aerial Services we pride ourselves on bringing the best in market to our valued clients through a winning combination of cutting-edge technology and continuous professional development, advancing our knowledge and capabilities through training and certification (TOP AUVSI Pilot, sUAS Thermography Certifications, and internationally recognized Commercial Operator Permits). We offer the best in service for your business’s needs and are looking forward to exploring with you how we can help your business win. Contact us at for more information.
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GT Advanced Aerial Services, founded in 2011 by Grant Hilti, an avid photographer and drone pilot, at the forefront of the drone industry boom. We have grown alongside the latest advancements in Drone Technology, which has given us valuable knowledge and experience through all levels of the industry. Based currently in Denver, CO, we are an international team of professionals and enthusiasts, servicing US and International companies and individuals.
Let’s make something together.